MILLEDGEVILLE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - New squad cars will be hitting the streets in Baldwin County very soon after the sheriff's office signed off on the upgrades.
"Before we got any new vehicles, we were looking at $300,000 a year in maintenance on vehicles with 200,000+ miles on it, and frankly some of them were unsafe," Captain Lynette LaRocque with the Baldwin County Sheriff's Office said.
And when you're it's your duty to keep people safe...that's a problem. An expensive one.
That's why Captain LaRocque and her team at the Baldwin County Sheriff's Office came up with the idea to find some ways to get new squad cars in rotation.
"It was actually my recommendation that we freeze two deputy sheriff positions, and we use that money to purchase on some new vehicles," LaRocque said.
It was one of the things Captain Scott Deason had to get used to.
He drove the standard police Crown Victoria for 20 years, and took some time to get adjusted to his new Kia Optima.
"I quickly realized that this vehicle is more suited for a lot of different tasks that the sheriff's office does," Deason said.
That's why 13 new cars are coming in the next couple of months.
Two Kia Optimas and 11 Ford Interceptors.
"It's all wheel drive and I feel like that's definitely safer. You know our call volume goes up during bad weather, with wet roads and what not. It's all wheel drive so it's safer," Deputy Sheriff Cameron Ptak said.
After combing through the sheriff's offices budget, officials noticed the cost of maintance was just too high, and they hope the new wheels will cut some of the costs.
"I'm glad that we're expanding our fleet, to add more of these vehicles and I think that we're going to see a benefit not only from the fuel side but the hundred thousand mile warranty, you get from these is going to really save the taxpayers a lot of money," Deason said.
Captain LaRocque says the sheriff's office hopes to buy good quality used vehicles with low mileage next year.
As for the new interceptors and optimas, they'll have all 13 in the next three months.
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